The socio-political situation in Uzbekistan has been tense in recent years but now in many areas a crisis may be unfolding in the wake of the pandemic. As the economic tensions are reflected in the published figures, it can be seen that the country’s external debt and levels of poverty are growing and an atmosphere of social control is on the rise.
As an independent state, Uzbekistan appeared on the world map in 1991. The country launched reforms that were supposed to create a base for running a market economy. In 1996, however the course of the economy was radically shifted towards intensification of state intervention in the economy and the implementation of an import substitution policy.
Scorched earth: media in Uzbekistan between 2005 and 2016
Under the rule of President Islam Karimov (1991-2016), the media in Uzbekistan experienced significant pressure. The total domination of the media environment by censorship and threats to journalists meant there was no freedom of expression in the media at all.
The COVID-19 pandemic threatens economies and has disrupted societies everywhere. To recover, restore, and rebuild, every country will need to lean on expertise and the very best of its human capital. However, in Central Asia, the bitter truth is that systems that were already struggling before the pandemic will suffer more because so many of their best and brightest have simply left. This brain drain of the region’s human capital now poses nearly as big a problem as the virus itself.
Overview of NGOs in Uzbekistan
According to the Ministry of Justice of Uzbekistan the total number of registered non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the country as of 2020 exceeded 10,000. The Ministry boasted that NGOs are increasingly gaining strong positions in the development of Uzbek society and are becoming a full-fledged partner of the state as the result of adopted legislative measures.
The coronavirus pandemic in Kazakhstan has pushed for a massive transition to the digital environment. The situation with forced digitalization was a good lesson and revealed shortcomings in the provision of public services online.
In this economic instability faced both by public and by the government, there is one group left behind all possible parachutes and safety opportunities. This group is ethnic migrants.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily reduced emissions and pollution on the ocean, this should not be moment of reprieve. Rather, recovery efforts have the potential to rebuild a new reality, embedded in sustainability and resilience. (more…)
“Now the question is what position the post-quarantine will put the people in. The coronavirus epidemic cancels many of the earlier gains for one and all,” political analyst Yuriy Buluktayev notes in his article for CABAR.asia. (more…)